Missio Seminary, an inter/multidenominational, evangelical school, seeks a five-year grant for partial funding of its Program for Urban Leaders and Pastors in Transition (PULPIT); an effort to support pastors serving urban congregations in the Philadelphia metropolitan region, and help them negotiate various key professional transitions at different stages of their ministerial careers. The program will bring pastors together as peer colleagues to develop healthy support systems for each other, encourage them to attend to their own health and wellness, and equip them to address challenges faced by urban churches. In addition, this endeavor will help the pastors develop flourishing relationships with other pastors that cross racial, ethnic and socioeconomic boundaries, and encourage them to help their congregations bridge these divides. To sustain the program, Missio Seminary will incorporate programmatic components into its operating budget and its doctor of ministry degree program.
Chicago Theological Seminary (CTS) —affiliated with the United Church of Christ— in an effort to support new pastors in their first years of ministry after seminary graduation, hosts a program specifically curated for new and bi-vocational clergy who are serving congregations in economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities. The CTS “Resilience in Leadership” initiative will gather pastors into five regional cohorts across the country that will meet quarterly for two years and convene annually at a consultation featuring exemplary pastors and experts. Each Resilience in Leadership program participant will also meet monthly with an experienced pastor-mentor to cultivate a vision for and negotiate the challenges of leading a small and under-resourced congregation.
George Fox University seeks a five-year grant for its Portland Seminary to launch the Institute for Pastoral Thriving. This effort will build one-year peer cohorts of eight to twelve pastors each to foster authentic relationships, offer safe spaces for exploring pastoral leadership challenges, nurture spiritual disciplines, and provide a network of allies to support their own thriving in ministry. The Institute will directly address challenges to pastoral thriving, particularly professional transitions and the rapidly changing demographics of the Pacific Northwest. It also will offer an annual symposium for all cohorts to gather as a larger body alongside the seminary community with the intent to foster fruitful conversations regarding pastoral spiritual renewal. To sustain this project, George Fox University will seek funding from denominations and congregations and provide advanced standing credit in the seminary degree programs for project participants.
The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina is planning, as part of its Thriving in Pastoral Ministry in the Episcopal Church program, an effort to launch new priests into vibrant ministries by deepening their community-consciousness and helping them form missional imaginations. The diocese will assign three new priests to serve as pastoral residents for three years in one of three congregations. The priests will rotate through these congregations, serving each congregation for one year. The congregations are geographically proximate and comprise members from diverse racial, ethnic and socioeconomic communities. Supported by spiritual direction, supervision, mentoring, coaching from senior clergy and leadership development experiences with peers and colleagues, these new clergy will develop cross-cultural competence, missional vision, liturgical agility, leadership skills, and vocational resilience. The diocese will sustain the program by drawing on earnings from endowed funds and raising additional gifts from individuals and congregations.
Christ Church Cranbrook has received a five-year grant to re-establish the Institute for Advanced Pastoral Studies (IAPS) with its partner congregation, Hartford Memorial Baptist Church. Originally founded by Christ Church Cranbrook in 1957, the Institute for Advanced Pastoral Studies aims to build clergy leadership capacities, connections and networks in Metro Detroit. Gathering intentionally ecumenical and racially diverse groups of clergy into cohorts, IAPS will host an annual conference, a five-day summer intensive seminar, and monthly learning and support groups that explore adaptive leadership and its potential for building the Beloved Community. The program will therefore provide participants with the opportunity to develop the spiritual grounding and skills necessary for personal growth, congregational leadership, and civic engagement. Administered by Christ Church Cranbrook, learning sites will be located in local congregations and allied organizations throughout Metro Detroit.
The Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board of American Baptist Churches (MMBB), which serves nearly 18,000 pastors and religious leaders in more than 5,000 churches and faith-based organizations from more than 15 denominations and hundreds of independent churches, requests a five-year grant for the Bridges: Colloquia for Cultivating Ministry program. Using the colloquium model, this program will bring together pastors to share with each other best leadership practices, reflect on key topics related to ministry challenges and transitions, and build relationships for personal and professional renewal. By fostering peer colleague relationships, the pastors will give each other support and guidance as well as accountability to foster higher levels of professional competence and well-being. To sustain this program, MMBB will incorporate programming into its operating budget and seek funding from new donors and denominational partners.